Liquid Architecture

Investigations: Eavesdropping Polythinking Ritual Community Music Why Listen?
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Liquid Architecture is an Australian organisation for artists working with sound. LA investigates the sounds themselves, but also the ideas communicated about, and the meaning of, sound and listening.

Our program stages encounters and creates spaces for sonic experience, and critical reflection on sonority and systems of sonic affect. To do this, we host experiences at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental music, supporting artists to produce performances and concerts, exhibitions, talks, reading groups, workshops and recordings in art spaces, music venues and other sites.

Liquid Architecture is curatorially driven and our methodology embraces research, collaborations and imaginations. We want to echo beyond local conversations, problems, debates and questions, to reverberate across media and disciplines, and so to sound out new discourses about the audible world, and beyond.

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first sovereign owners of this unceded country. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and becoming.

staff

Joel Stern
CEO / Artistic Director Joel Stern is a curator, researcher, and sound artist, concerned with theories and practices of sound and listening. He is the Artistic Co-Director of Liquid Architecture, a leading Australian organisation that stages encounters and creates spaces for sonic experience and critical reflection on systems of sonic affect, at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental music. Stern is part of OtherFilm, an artist collective driven by a central curiosity about the limits of the moving image. He has initiated the experimental residency Instrument Builders Project in 2013. Stern is a PhD candidate in Curatorial Practice at Monash Art, Design and Architecture, where he teaches Sound (in the Space of Art).
Danni Zuvela
CEO / Artistic Director With Joel Stern, Danni is Artistic Director/CEO of Liquid Architecture. Since 2004, Danni has co-directed the artists’ collective OtherFilm (co-founded with Joel Stern [Melbourne] and Sally Golding [London]). In 2013 she joined forces with the Gold Coast-based artist-run gallery The Walls, where worked as the Secretary, Curator and Deputy until 2018. At The Walls, she led programming and strategic initiatives, and she continues to generate socially-engaged experimental projects on the Gold Coast. Danni has an academic background, with a research PhD on experimental film and art history, teaching extensively into her field, and publishing critical writing across a range of publications. Danni’s research informs her curatorial work with interests in feminism, activism, ecology, language and performance.
Georgia Hutchison
General Manager Georgia works across creative disciplines with communities, businesses, cultural institutions and policy-makers. Her education and experience spans arts management; industrial design with a social, sustainable and systemic approach; curatorial and cultural leadership. For the last fifteen years she has worked between universities, studio and non-profit environments—most recently researching artist run economies with All Conference; and communicating the built environment with U-P. As an artist Georgia performs and photographs encounters with material scenarios and social currencies.
Debris Facility
Administrator Debris is a speculative corporate entity working from one human body. The Facility entered into partnership with Liquid Architecture to oversee Administration in 2018 onwards. Participation in events organising alongside practice lead research and exhibition productions pushes Administration into an performative medium. Maintaining an active exhibition profile alongside residencies, teaching, collaborations and contracts, the Facility works to amplify it’s reach through the oscillation of signal to noise ratio’s of im/material contexts of exhibition production, media, performance,wearables, installation and interventions.

board

Jennifer Barry
CHAIR JENNIFER BARRY has over 25 years’ experience leading arts organisations, managing creative projects, consulting, producing the work of artists nationally and internationally, and curating public programs. Previous positions include: Manager of Public Programs at Federation Square, Executive Director of Shunpike (Seattle), Director/CEO of Footscray Community Arts Centre, Founder/Director of Keep Breathing, and Executive Producer/Co-CEO of Chunky Move, among others. As a consultant, Jennifer’s clients have included the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria, the City of Melbourne, the Australian Art Orchestra, and the Australian Network for Art and Technology, among others. She has served on numerous boards and industry panels and is currently Project Director for the Royal Children’s Hospital 150th Anniversary.
David Chesworth
MEMBER DAVID CHESWORTH is an artist and composer, known for his experimental, and at times minimalist music, who has worked with electronics, contemporary ensembles, film, theatre and experimental opera. Together with Sonia Leber, Chesworth has created installation artworks using sound, video, architecture and public participation. Exhibitions include ‘56th Venice Biennale (2015), ‘19th Biennale of Sydney (2014), ‘Melbourne Now’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013-14). Festivals featuring Chesworth’s music and sound works include Ars Electronica, Festival D’Automne de Paris, Bang on a Can Marathon, New York, Sydney Biennale, Adelaide and Melbourne Festivals and MONA FOMA. Early in his career he was co-founder of post-punk band Essendon Airport and for five years was coordinator of the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre in Melbourne. David Chesworth joined the Liquid Architecture Board in 2015. David teaches Sound (in the space of Art) at Monash Art, Design and Architecture, where he recently completed his doctorate researching sonic framing and temporality with artwork experiences.
Dr Michael Graeve
VICE CHAIR DR. MICHAEL GRAEVE is a sound and visual artist and educator. Michael joined the Liquid Architecture board 10 years ago at the time of incorporation in 2007 and was President and Chair from 2011-2017. Michael has been committed to artist-run culture, developing small arts organisation expertise first as a founding committee member of Grey Area Art Space Inc (1996 -1999) and then as board member and program manager at West Space Inc (2000 – 2004). He exhibits, performs, curates and teaches internationally and teaches in the Sound, Sculpture and Spatial Practice Department, Expanded Studio Practice, Honours and the MFA Program at RMIT University, and has previously taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Monash University, The Victorian College of the Arts and Victoria University.
Andy Miller
MEMBER ANDY MILLER currently works as the General Manager of Multicultural Arts Victoria. Initially trained as a painter at the Canberra School of Art, Andy Miller worked in theatre for a number of years before working to establish arts programs in the community sector. Following a few years as an arts and cultural officer at two local governments, Andy began a career in the state public service in various senior roles at Arts Victoria and Creative Victoria and was seconded for a period with Creative Partnerships Australia, as Senior Programs Manager. As well as a Bachelor in Fine Arts, he has a Masters in Public Policy and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from the University of Melbourne.
Phip Murray
MEMBER PHIP MURRAY is an independent writer and curator, and a part-time academic in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT where she lectures in the history/theory of art, design and architecture. Phip was Director of West Space from 2008–2012 and, prior to that, an Associate Producer for the Next Wave Festival. Phip has a particular interest in interdisciplinary art practice, and has curated projects such as Time Has Come Today, a program exploring sound, moving image and performance projects (West Space, 2012) and Tyger, Tyger, a new commissions series including projects by Philip Brophy, Constanze Zikos, David Chesworth, and Juan Davila (West Space, 2011-2012).
Mark Nolen
TREASURER MARK NOLEN is a Certified Practising Accountant with extensive experience in the creative industries sector. He is currently Management Accountant at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image, having previously worked in a similar role at Film Victoria. Along the way he has helped countless singers, actors and even clowns get their taxes in order – no laughing matter! When not crunching numbers, you can find Mark sitting back with a fine drop of Scottish Whisky soaking up some even finer tunes.
Kristen Smith
MEMBER KRISTEN SMITH is a legal practitioner with over a decade of experience focused on large scale commercial litigation and class actions. She currently works as an Investment Manager for international litigation financier, IMF Bentham, having previously worked for Slater and Gordon in their Commercial and Project Litigation team. She has also worked at Dundas & Wilson (now CMS) in Scotland and as an Associate to the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Associate Justice Efthim. In 2004, she was awarded the Victoria Law Foundation Chief Justice’s Medal for Excellence and Community Service. She has previously served on the boards of the Australian Communities Foundation and the EastWeb foundation and is currently a member of the M.E.S.S advisory board.

technical

Charlie Freedman
VIDEOGRAPHER
Keelan O’Hehir
PHOTOGRAPHER
Benjamin Portas
MOTION DESIGNER
Jacqui Shelton
PHOTOGRAPHER
Lauren Squire
SOUND ENGINEER
Josh Watson
VIDEOGRAPHER
Public Office
GRAPHIC DESIGN and DEVELOPMENT

comrade

Elena Betros
Clare Cooper
Asher Elazary
Nathan Gray
Jason Heller
Anabelle Lacroix
Paris Lettau
Sarah Mccauley
Dr James Parker
Mino Peric
Anatol Pitt
Jessica Row
Emily Siddons
Sezzo Snot
Beth Sometimes
Mathew Spisbah
Cara Stewart
Darcy Wedd
Makeda Zucco
Ece Yavuz

Contact

info@liquidarchitecture.org.au
FB, IG, YT, SC

PO Box 12315
Melbourne
VIC 8006
AUSTRALIA

LIQUID ARCHITECTURE SOUND INC
ABN 73128090237
ASN A0050679K

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Events

The Audio-Spectator
Michel Chion

An epic two-and-a-half-hour concert for ten surround-speakers featuring the classic composition Requiem (1973) alongside two new audio-visual compositions, The Scream (2017), and Third Symphony (2016).
ACMI
Federation Square
Melbourne
VIC
6:30PM

Tickets

Born in 1947, Michel Chion is a composer, filmmaker, historian and writer – and arguably the world’s foremost thinker on sound in cinema.

In the 1970s he was a member of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), the influential collective led by composer and theoretician Pierre Schaeffer dedicated to furthering the art of ‘musique concrète’ through experiments in audiovisual communication, audible phenomena and music in general. It was at the GRM that Chion composed arguably his most famous work, Requiem, a noisy and surreal deconstruction of the Funeral Mass made whilst pondering the “troubled minority of the living, rather than the silent majority of the dead.”

Since the 1980s, Chion has written extensively on the relationship of sound and image in the cinema, publishing in 1990 what many consider the definitive theoretical guide to the subject, Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. In this momentous book, Chion advances a whole new lexicon for describing audio-visual concepts, via the works of Jacques Tati, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard and others. On reading, film scholar Claudia Gorbman was moved to name him “a poet in theoretician’s clothing.”

For this program, Michel Chion will perform an epic two-and-a-half-hour concert for ten surround-speakers featuring the classic composition Requiem (1973) alongside two new audiovisual compositions, The Scream (2017), and Third Symphony (2016).

notes by Michel Chion

A CONCERT IN TWO PARTS

1: LE CRI, 2017, 17 ‘ and REQUIEM, 1973, 37’26
2: THIRD SYMPHONY, audio-divisive, 2016, 88 ‘

The first part of this concert comprises two works of musique concrète for ‘fixed’ sounds, with the projection of a blank image, intended to create a listening frame and to display the English subtitles of the text that is heard. The second part proposes an “audio-divisive” music, consisting of silent images, sounds on a blank background, and images and sounds synchronised in different ways.

Image: Michel Chion, R. Cahen and R. Cochini at GRM, 1974

LE CRI (The Scream)
Musique concrète for two-track video-audio 2017.
World Premiere. 17 ‘

By definition, in musique concrète (that is, music for fixed sounds), anything can arise at any moment from the loudspeaker, sounds from which we can not be protected—since we possess no natural eyelids for sound—but also sound with no frame, which spreads into space, even when it comes from a single source. The scream will not be heard much, but the scream will be awaited; it will be proposed in small pieces, as when one revolves around a sculpture, a volume. My project is to make a work in which there is no impression of a linear discourse, but rather the exploration of a space while maintaining a great tension. But it is not a tragic scream (as in the famous painting of Edvard Munch), rather a scream of life ….

This work was done in my personal studio, combining the tape recorder (for creating sounds) and the computer (for final editing). It is presented in a new form: with a title on a black screen and in silence, to create an ‘interval’ of time before the work begins, and to allow the work to begin in an atmosphere of concentration. The screen then remains black throughout the duration of the listening.

M.C., April 9, 2017

REQUIEM
Musique concrète for two-track video-audio. In two stages and ten movements, based on texts of the Mass of the Funerals 1973.
First performance of the version with English subtitles. 37’26”

Requiem as a whole is built on a system of echoes and correspondences that seem to be symmetrically organised around an axis represented by the work’s middle point. The form was developed in the course of the process, as a dramatic scheme that played off the listener’s memory and premonitions, since once the listener has heard the work more than once, they can predict as well as recall. Echoes and correspondences of what? Themes, musical motives, ranging from the most elemental (a loop, raw matter) to the most elaborated (a musical development), and which are reprised, quoted or announced at various moments of the work – some are easily identifiable as “leitmotivs” (theme-chorus from the Dies Irae quoted in the finale), while others are accompanying motives, matter that does not need to be memorised at a conscious level. An extreme case of such echo effect is found in the short movements 2 & 9, which use almost the same “music” cast under completely opposite sound lighting. The centre of the work, the axis of that symmetry, is the 6th movement Evangile, where happens a symbolical tear in the magnetic tape, a crack in the work itself, opening in the timeline a breach of eternity that lets us glimpse “something else.”

Within this large form in two parts, we find the small forms of each movement: forms with choruses and episodes, litanies, recitativo, levelled crescendos, etc. There is also another formal course delineated by the succession of several vocal characters, their timbre, intonation, and relation to the libretto. The only time a well-assured, peremptory voice is clearly heard is, once again, at that central moment in Evangile (“il va ressusciter” or “he will rise”), where its irruption seems to spread panic throughout the whole system and provoke the breach…

Like the requiems of the classical era, this Requiem‘s text is taken from the Funeral Mass, to which are added an Epistle, a Gospel and a Pater Noster. The texts are mostly said in their original language (Latin or Greek) and in French, in some rare cases. The Requiem was composed whilst thinking about the troubled minority of the living, rather than the silent majority of the dead. I tried to turn this oratorio into a “great sonic show,” cinemascope music. One can detect the obvious (at least to me) influence of filmmakers and films, more in the play of forms, time and space, as opposed to realistic evocations. Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus was an influence, again acknowledged after the fact; the pages spent describing the imaginary works of Adrian Leverkühn might have inspired the megalomaniac dream of carrying bits and pieces of them into the sound world.

With Requiem, my intention was not to deliver a message or a manifesto, whether pro- or anti-religious. Instead, this work is a personal testimony, into which listeners are invited to project their own self, if they care to inhabit it with their own experience and sensibility.

M.C., 1978

1er temps: 1. Introït – 2. Kyrie Eleison – 3. Epître – 4. Dies Irae – 5. Offertoire – 6. Evangile

2ème temps: 7. Sanctus – 8. Agnus Dei – 9. Lux aeterna – 10. Libera me

Voices: André Allag, Michèle Bokanowski, Caroline, Laure et Pierre Bruas, Robert Cahen, M.C., Catherine Colas, Jean-Pierre Colas, Catherine Guérin, Bernard Guillochon, Geneviève Julien-Labruyère, L’Ensemble vocal Le Madrigal, dir. Rachid Safir.

Production: GRM

Image: Michel Chion and Pierre Schaeffer presenting the Guide to Sound Objects, 1984

THIRD SYMPHONY, Audio-divisive

Work on video-audio for fixed sounds (two tracks) and fixed images (one screen), in ten movements. 2016.
First performance of the version with English subtitles. 1h28 ‘

After two symphonies of musique concrète, including La Vie en Prose, 2010 (published by Brocoli), I wanted to create an “enlarged” symphony with projected images, in the manner that the Ninth of Beethoven or the Third of Mahler were expanded with solo singers and choirs. Despite the high number of movements, the symphonic form is prevalent: a very developed Scherzo, a Largo desolato which corresponds to a slow and funereal meditation, and a last movement that functions like a Finale. And above all, the term symphony embodies the idea of ​​a work, which has meaning only as a composition, a whole.

I have invented the term “audio-divisive” to make it clear that what I called “audio-vision” in 1990, that is, the perception of simultaneous sounds and images, is certainly more than a simple addition, but also the opposite of a fusion where everything would amalgamate. In this work, sounds and images are proposed together or separately: certain movements are acousmatic (without vision of the source), other athorybes (moving images without corresponding sounds), the majority audio-divisive, according to various formulas. For example, in the Café movement, where I capture a whole five minutes of images and sounds from a Parisian bistro, without changing anything, we have audio-division in the roughest sense of everyday experience, since most of what is heard – the boss, customers – happens outside the visual field, while the sound of much of what we see through the glass is masked by this barrier, and by the urban uproar!

Within this Third Symphony, I also wanted to share my Earth Mass (1992-96), which is rainy, slow and meditative, more solar and familiar, with no religious references. The beautiful “questions of children” discussing with their teacher in the movement VIII, are questions of everyone and for everyone, and give spirit to this work.

M.C., summer 2016

1. Floating element, prologue (audio-divisive)

2. Generic (athorybe)

3. Allegro Animato (mainly acousmatic)

4.5.6. Three interiors: Café (audio-divisuel) – Studio (athorybe) – Room (audio-divisuel)

7. Scherzo Vivace in ten variations (audio-divisive)

8. Intermezzo Anatoribico (audio-divisive)

9. Largo Desolato in memory of Christiane Sacco, writer (1939-1999) (acousmatic)

10. Final, in four external (audio-divisive).

Sound and visual creation, editing and production: M.C.
With the precious help, for the digital finishing, of Jérôme Bloch and Geoffroy Montel.
Commissioned by Motus for the Futura Festival, August 2016 in Crest, France.

Presented by Liquid Architecture, Melbourne International Film Festival, ACMI and Institut Français

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Taungurong, Dja Dja Wurrung and the Wathaurung people of the Kulin Nation as the custodians of the land in which this event takes place, and we recognise that sovereignty was never ceded. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

Partners

Artists

Michel Chion

Born in 1947, Michel Chion is a composer, filmmaker, historian and writer – and arguably the world’s foremost thinker on sound in cinema.

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